OGP in the News – Week of August 29, 2016

A series providing a round-up of media attention received by the Open Government Partnership throughout the world.

This week, the entire OGP community rejoiced when Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Access of Information bill this Wednesday. Following an OGP press briefing, the news first appeared in Kenya’s local CIO East Africa and was then republished by Nigeria’s Premium Times and web portal Uncova, as well as the widely read, pan_African AllAfrica.com. Maureen Kariuki, OGP’s Regional Civil Society Coordinator for Africa and the Middle East, was quoted describing the significance of this victory:

This was a flagship commitment in the recently approved second Kenya OGP National Action Plan, and will help Kenyan citizens access vital information about how the country is run.

In Nigeria, meanwhile, The Punch ran an article about United Kingdom and Nigerian governments signing a Memorandum of Understanding to guarantee the safe return of all stolen Nigerian funds stored in the United Kingdom and its British territories. During the event, UK Parliament and Minister of State for Immigration, Robert Goodwill, saluted Nigeria’s membership in OGP.

More evidence of OGP progress was seen in Indonesia where Tribunnews.com reported that the regency of Bojonegoro has made significant strides in acting on the country’s commitment to fiscal transparency by posting banners in widely populated areas that illustrate the breakdown of each village’s budget allocation. An op-ed released in a major Mexican daily, El Universal, and reproduced in Pulso Diario de San Luis, reflected on how transparency is an essential factor to democracy and how far Mexico has come in this regard since joining OGP.

Along with coverage of these OGP success stories, news flooded in from around the world about the status of various member countries’ National Action Plans (NAP).  

An article appearing in the popular daily Spanish newspaper El Economista announced the September 15 deadline for contributions to Spain’s 2016-2018 NAP. The article also analyzed the implications of the IRM’s recent assessment of Spain’s 2014-2015 NAP, classifying the country’s progress as “limited” due to its unsuccessful reform of the General Act of Grants. On a more positive note, the article noted that the IRM report commended Spain for developing a National Grant Database, which publicizes information tools. South Korea’s call for citizen contributions to its upcoming NAP similarly attracted media attention from the country’s largest news agency Yohap News, as well as Zum News.

And the European Commission’s website featured two OGP articles, one applauding the collaborative process through which Italy’s NAP was drafted and reminding everyone that the period of public consultation ended on August 31. The second article announced that Madrid, Paris, Scotland and Tbilisi have been selected for the OGP’s Subnational Pilot Program and quoted CEO Sanjay Pradhan:

OGP is tapping into a growing desire from governments who are looking for new ways to interact with citizens, build trust in government and harness the opportunities provided by new technologies to improve the lives of all citizens.

Last but not least, after only five years, OGP is already showing its age (in a good way!) with the rise of the next generation of open government reformers in Croatia where one of country’s top five news websites, tportal.hr, reported that Istria will be hosting the Open Youth Academy  Event for the second year in a row! Details here.    

Of course, we can’t catch everything in our news round-ups, so if you see we’ve missed something or think a particular story ought to be featured, please send it to jacqueline.mcgraw@opengovpartnership.org.

Filed Under: OGP News